We have this idea of bureaucracy in local government, and it’s generally things that we’re frustrated at. It doesn’t work the way we like it to work. – Jennifer Pahika
That quote sums up everything about local governments at times. We work hard to get things done the way we’d like at a local level, but somehow, somewhere along the way government refuses to work the way it’s supposed to. I am not complaining about local government. They are essential to a well-running nation. The people must have an outlet for redress at the local level for things they believe must be done or undone in government.
Conservative politicians always say they advocate most strongly for this position, and they do but not for the reasons they give to us. The best case in point that could ever be given is the recent anti-LGBT law passed in North Caroline – House Bill 2. In one single day, it swept through both houses of their state government and was signed by their governor, Pat McCrory. On the face of it, it seems like any other right wing state’s attempt to marginalize a segment of society they hate and disagree with, but this law is so much more than what is on the surface.
I could go into why this law is hateful. Why it is a breach of the rights of the people it now infringes, and why some businesses have even decided that it has gone too far. However, so many others are doing that, I would just be repeating the same old tired arguments. Some who write about this law have even mentioned that it makes it illegal for cities to raise the minimum wage. It has been less covered, but it should be just as important. The law is also affecting another just as disadvantaged group in America.
But the fact is, each one of those points miss the very important fact that North Carolina has decided that local governments don’t matter to the state. The people who live in those towns shouldn’t have a say, or their views don’t matter. The same complaint that conservatives always make about the federal government having too much power and tromping on the rights of the people is playing out at the state level.
The fact is conservatives don’t care about governmental overreach or power. They just care about who is in power and what is being passed. If they are in control of the federal or state government, then what it does is right and lesser or greater government can go to hell for all they care. What is so wrong here though is that conservatives always say they are the champions of local governments and local control, and here they prove they are liars again.
They don’t care about what the people think. They don’t want the people of Charlotte or any other town in North Carolina to pass any laws that the state deems to be liberal. They want their private conservative utopia where they are in complete control and you must do what they say. This goes completely against the Constitution they say they want to uphold, and they know it. It goes against the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. It’s still “we the people,” right?
So why do Americans keep voting for these types of politicians? Because there are people who want to be part of the group that controls. They think like they do. They believe like they do. This group of people thinks that the country needs strong leadership if it is going to survive and lead the world. Believe it or not, these people are advocating for totalitarian government. Whether it is fascism or a dictatorship from a cult of personality, there will always be people willing to take on that role and others who want to fall in line.
When laws like this are passed and go virtually unchallenged, they will spread. There are talks of boycotts, but as soon as this law went on the books businesses’ if they were serious about our democracy should have immediately taken a stand. A challenge should have been filed immediately to the courts. If this sort of thing is not stopped, and even if it is, other conservative states may see it as an opportunity to do the same in a different way in their homes. This is how the disease spreads and the patient dies.
Image via Charlotte Observer